CA-125 Results Went Up: Should I be concerned?

Posted by stparker54 @stparker54, Aug 26 2:30pm

The results of my CA-125 tumor marker test increased from 16.8 to 20.3. This is the fourth time I’ve had a tumor marker test and it’s the first time there was an increase in the results. How concerned should I be?

Oh @stparker54, I can imagine you're worried. We were all celebratory as your CA 125 levels were dropping. It's true that a decreasing CA 125 level often indicates that the cancer is responding to treatment. A rising CA 125 level may indicate a return or continued growth of the cancer. Please focus on the word "MAY."

The test may be an anomaly and will need to be confirmed and then further investigated with additional testing. I know you were having issues with platelet counts and chemo related delays. This may be part of that. If it is the cancer rearing its ugly head, CA 125 is the right tool to find it this early.

I'm bringing in @starko @naturegirl5 @jeanadair123 @pbprice and @becsbuddy to surround you with support and a gentle group embrace. StParker, when are you scheduled for further tests or a consult?

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My next chemo treatment is in about three weeks. My onc does a CA-125 test then. Should I have a CA-125 test done before that?

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@stparker54

My next chemo treatment is in about three weeks. My onc does a CA-125 test then. Should I have a CA-125 test done before that?

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stparker54:I don't think your very slight increase in CA125 should be of concern as you are still within the "normal " range, May I suggest that you ask for a HE4,S test as well. My oncologist believes this may be a better indicator of a tumor recurrence. After being free of cancer for over a year, I found my HE4,S was gradually rising, although CA125 remained normal. My oncologist put me on daily metformin and HE4,S has fallen within a normal range. I also get blood drawn for the tests every two weeks.

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starko: I spoke to my gynecology oncologist on Monday, and she pretty much confirmed what you said — that a 4-point rise in my CA-125 results wasn't much to worry about. She said that women with ovarian/uterine cancer tend to reach different "floor" CA-125 ranges. Some women will fall within the 5-10 range as their floor; others will have a floor of 10-15, while others tend to be in the 15-20 range. My onc thinks I will fall into the latter range and that my CA-125 results will not drop any further than 15-20. She said this was fine, just so my results don't exceed 35. I will look into the HE4,S test the next time I go for chemo (Sept. 14).

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